|Scientific Name: Ameiurus catus|
A member of the bullhead group of catfishes, the white catfish is usually blue-gray above, fading to gray on sides with a white belly. It has a moderately forked tail with rounded ends, and its upper jaw extends slightly beyond the lower. The white catfish is sometimes mistaken for the channel catfish, but the white catfish has a much wider head and lacks black spots on its sides.
Habitats and Habits
Unlike flathead and blue catfish, white catfish are native to rivers and streams that flow to the Atlantic Ocean. They can also be found in the French Broad and Pigeon rivers, although they may have been stocked in these Tennessee River tributaries. While quite common, white catfish are often overlooked. This may be in part to their small size compared to flathead, blue and channel catfish. However, these fish are aggressive feeders and have a tendency to feed more during the daytime than other catfish.
White catfish make excellent table fare, and anglers can catch them using many of the same methods for other catfish. Worms, minnows, scented baits and hellgrammites fished on or near the bottom work well.